If someone traveled to 50 countries, we’d be impressed. If they traveled to 100 we’d be super impressed. But if they traveled to every single country in the world, and became the first documented female, youngest American, AND fastest traveler to visit all 196 countries on the planet….well, that would leave us pretty amazed indeed.
But that’s exactly what Cassandra De Pecol has done.
Over the past year and a half, American traveler Cassie De Pecol has visited every country in the world in 18 months and 26 days, De Pecol made the trip in less than half the time it took the previous Guinness World Record holder.
In total, De Pecol budgeted $198,000 to get herself around the world.
De Pecol was 23 years old when she began planning her journey, and in the beginning she had no funding. During the year and a half that she spent planning her trip, she says she saved $10,000 by babysitting, then went about acquiring sponsors.
"I had to really utilize Google and be like 'how am I going to find the funding to do this?' 'How did other people find the funding to do this?' So I looked at people like Ranulph Fiennes who is considered the worlds greatest living explorer," De Pecol said.
She attracted a wide range of sponsors, from big companies like AIG to a hand-painted tote bag artisan, and she exchanged board at eco-hotels for promotional coverage of their sustainability efforts.
Before she embarked on her record-setting adventure, De Pecol had some practice traveling abroad on a budget. A semester shy of graduating at 21, she left college with a one-way ticket to Europe and $2,000. She spent two years traveling and working in hotels to satisfy her wanderlust.
De Pecol, who majored in environmental studies in college, said she felt she couldn't travel the world without having a larger purpose. She embarked on her world tour in July 2015, promoting sustainable tourism everywhere she went as an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism.
The nonprofit was founded in 1986, the United Nation's "Year of Peace," to promote cultural understanding after terrorist incidents sparked tensions between Eastern and Western countries.
Over the course of her trip, she met with mayors and ministers of tourism, presenting them with the institute's "Declaration of Peace." SKAL International, an association of tourism professionals with chapters all over the world, considered her a peace ambassador and helped De Pecol arrange meetings with dignitaries in more than 50 countries.
The 27-year-old spoke before more than 16,000 students about the ways to offset your carbon footprint when you travel.
Cassandra doesn’t go anywhere without her camera and her map of-course!
Inspired? Based on a similar Idea, there is a "Scratch Off Where You've Been Map". Track your travels with a handsome scratch-off-where-you've-been map that charts globetrotting in a fun, colorful and innovative way.
It turns out that traveling makes us far happier than any material wealth ever does.
It turns out that the main impediment to happiness is adaptation. As soon as something we’ve bought becomes ordinary and unexciting, the level of life satisfaction we feel falls, and we’re forced to search around for the next purchase. This process is repeated again and again.
However, research carried out at Cornell University has found a way to break this damaging cycle. Psychology professor Thomas Gilovich has shown that we experience the same increase in happiness when we buy something we want and when we go traveling. But — and here’s the most important point — the amount of happiness we derive from our purchase falls over time, whereas the memories of our traveling experience continue to supply us with happiness hormones for much longer.
Going to various kinds of unusual events, going on trips, learning new skills, even extreme sport — all of these are an ideal source of happiness for each and every one of us. A new device or even a new car will eventually become just another ordinary object we own, or will otherwise become old and outdated. Every new memory, on the other hand, becomes a real source of joy that stays with us for our whole lives.
Why young people don't buy cars and apartments anymore
Nowadays, the traditional measure of success — owning an apartment and/or a car — is out of date. An increasing number of young people around the world don’t want to buy them.
Research shows that the so-called millennial generation, who are now 30-35 years old, rarely buy houses and even more rarely — cars. In fact, they don’t buy super expensive things at all. In the USA, people under the age of 35 are called ’the generation of renters.’
The youth today has reconsidered the concept of success, which means:
Successful people don’t buy property — they rent.
If you want to be considered successful, invest in experiences: travel, do extreme sports, build startups.
The point is that people now don’t want prosperity and stability — all they want is flexible schedules and financial and geographical independence.
Why own a car if you can take a cab? It’s almost a personal car with a driver. And it’s not more expensive than having your own car. Why buy a house in a beautiful place and go there for vacation, if you can find a place to stay through Airbnb in any corner of the planet? You don’t have to overpay for rent or buy a property in a country you love.
Experience is the only thing that matters: it won’t go down in price, and no one can steal it.